Puerto Rico is burning its dead. How many did Hurricane Maria kill?

The funeral home and crematorium directors told BuzzFeed News that they had received dozens of bodies of people who died of hurricane-related causes — just the cases from these two municipalities would potentially more than double the death toll if they were included. The Forensic Institute permitted the bodies of at least 42 potential hurricane victims to be burned, according to one crematorium director.

Puerto Rico’s safety department says the funeral and crematorium directors should send any potential hurricane-related victims to the institute before they’re burned — but admit they haven’t actually officially communicated that to them.

John Mutter, a professor of earth sciences and public affairs at Columbia University who studied how the death count was handled after Hurricane Katrina, said Puerto Rico’s procedures seem to be “deliberately trying to keep the numbers low,” which he called “unconscionable.” Other experts called it a failure of bureaucracy.